I've always been someone who's struggled with living in the moment, but lately I've been finding it particularly hard. I constantly live inside my head. Sometimes I feel like I'm somewhat successful at snapping out of it, but other times I can go a whole day without even realizing it's happening. I've had a little bit of downtime in the past week, and I've used it to kind of try and figure out where I'm at, where I want to be, and what I need to do to make it happen. I'm a big list maker. And in the process of making several lists, my mind keeps drifting back to the family, friends, and support that I have. It's so important to look past all the things you wish you could change, and all the reasons you feel stressed out or tired or not yourself, to remember and salute the things that are there, and that you have.
Ever since I've been old enough to work, I've always had more than one job. And now it's a little excessive, with the addition of project here and there. With trying to balance everyone and everything else, and still make people feel special, a lot of the time I feel like I come up short. I don't mean that in a self deprecating way, I'm just being honest. I feel a lot clearer lately, and feel like this letter is important. I've always been big on acknowledging people who deserve it, and making sure nothing's left unsaid. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I turn 30 this year. A terrifying source of anxiety, but I think I'm starting to come to terms with it. You always think growing up, "by the time I'm 30, I'm going to have accomplished the following list of unreasonable feats". And then when you near it, sometimes it turns out that it's just not in the cards for you. I'm rambling, but the point of this piece is to again, never stop acknowledging the people that have made a difference, and are important. I am so lucky to have the support that I do. With my writing, I have the support of people I've never met, people I've met a few times, some complete strangers, family, friends, and best friends that are there no matter what. Even when I feel like I don't deserve it, even when I worry and obsess that with my work schedule, sleep schedule and everything else, that people will eventually forget about me, or worse, think I've forgotten about them. There are far too many people to acknowledge by name, but please know that I think about all of you, specifically, and am so grateful to each person I have in my life. Each person that has supported me in any way, each person that has taken a chance on me, each person that has allowed myself to be somehow affiliated with them, their bar, or their brand. Each person that's allowed me to vent, cry, overreact, make mistakes, giggle with. Each person that has laughed at my jokes, or told their friends about my blog, or came to a party, or donated their time and money. Each person that's pulled my mom or brother aside to tell them how much they appreciate their support. Each person that I know I can count on, no matter what. Each person that considers me to be a friend. This is my awkward tangent love letter to you. I hope you can feel it, I hope you never ever doubt it. I hope you know that I'm always making mistakes, but I'm always learning from them. I'm fumbling through this life just like everyone else on the pursuit of happiness, and I'm really glad that I have each of you to fumble through with me. Thank you for baring with me through writer's block, sleep deprivation, a truly terrible work schedule, crazy spurts, sad spurts, living in my head spurts, angry spurts, and happy spurts. My life wouldn't be the same without you, no matter how often we speak or see eachother.
GEEZ, okay, here's one of the reasons this sappy love note was spawned. (And really, thank you. I hope you feel my sincerest appreciation. I'll be here for you, too. Promise.)
I'm normally a pretty skeptical person, but every so often I feel inspired and like to believe in a little bit of magic. I know this sounds super cheesy, but bare with me. It's a good story.
The other day, I was working at the tea shop, and since it was a nice day, I was asked to go outside and give samples of tea. I would say, realistically, I had been outside for less than a minute, and already I had been snubbed and ignored by several passerbys who wanted to avoid getting a free sample of delicious tea. Just then, I encountered a lovely older lady, who came up to me with the sweetest, most gentle demeanor and asked me if she could have a "sip of tea". I said yes, and before she tried it, she said, "If I had never seen you, I would never had known that this place was here." She said it so thoughtfully, it caught me offguard. Then she drank the tea, and looked at me just as sincerely, and said,
"This is the best tea I've ever had. If I had never seen you, and tried this tea, I'd have never drank the best tea I've ever tasted."
It was so odd, and so lovely how pleased she was.
She asked me if she could buy that tea inside, and I said yes. So we went in, and I scooped her tea, and when I turned my head to the side to cash her through, she said, "Oh my gosh, I know who you are."
This is obviously a statement that invokes severe unease and confusion. I was so taken aback, and also wondering what exactly she knew, when she followed it up with,
"Last night, I saw a picture of you at a party. Of your ears."
Obviously I assumed she was a lunatic, and gave her a tight, polite smile. I know a lot of people have stretched ears, and I prejudicially assumed because she was older, she thought I was the only one in the world with ears like that. Then she said,
"You were probably unaware that the picture was taken. Do you work at a bar? I recognized the 57 tattoo on your neck. Someone thought your earrings were interesting, and took a picture of them to show people."
I was so shocked. Like, goosebumps, speechless shocked. She then followed it up with,
"Sweetheart everyone had their own opinions about your look, but I think your beautiful." Which made me laugh, because it was so sincere and unwittingly backhanded.
She then proceeded to tell me that her name was Deborah, and there was some reason why everything aligned the way it did, and that we were supposed to meet. She wasn't sure what the reason was, but she knew in her heart there was one. I believed her. What an incredible set of circumstances. I was so floored I don't think I handled the situation appropriately. I wished her a good day, and said it was nice to meet her.
I haven't seen Deborah since then, but I have thought about that meeting every day. Maybe I'll never see her again, but I can't help but think that was one of those special moments you were supposed to pay attention to. I'm glad I met Deborah, especially because right after the encounter with her, I went back outside to sample tea and a civic full of young idiots drove by and screamed, "Fuck you, tea bitch!" at me. So that ruined my positive buzz a little bit, but Deborah helped me focus on not throwing down my tray and chasing them to the next stop light. Thanks Debbie!
Maybe everything does happen for a reason, and maybe it doesn't. But sometimes things happen to make us feel beautiful, interesting, a little less lonely, or at the very least, acknowledged. And hopefully we can slow our brains enough when this does happen, to be able to fully take it in, and feel all these things. I haven't been completely myself for a while now, but I feel now like this is the year. To put the past in the past, and be grateful and inspired and do whatever it is I need to do to be happy and fulfilled. If you've read this far, thank you. Or even if you skimmed, that's cool. I hope you all have an amazing day, and something special happens for you. And whatever it is that's holding you back from moving forward, I hope you all get the clarity you need to figure out what your next step needs to be, and to pursue it with everything you have. Until then, I'll be looking out for Deborah, who I have now transformed in my head to be my little leprechaun, and can only assume that her purpose is to bring me an obscene amount of money. (This letter was so long, I've forgotten all lessons I had previously learned.)